Understanding Pain in Your Pet
Pain management has become an important issue in veterinary medicine. Animals tend to hide their pain as an instinctive survival mechanism that can lead their owners and others to believe there are no injuries or problems. As medicine has developed, so has the veterinary community’s understanding of the way pets feel pain and how to recognize it.
Symptoms of pain sometimes manifest as behaviors and other times are obvious in your pet’s movement. Signs of pain include:
- Lethargy and/or depression
- A shift in moods, acting either aggressively or submissively
- Standing or sitting in unusual positions
- Constant changes in position
- Hiding or avoiding contact
- Stiff strides, especially after standing
- Rising slowly
- “Collapsing” to lie down
- Constant licking or chewing at specific parts of the body
Our animals can experience two different types of pain: acute and chronic. Whether from illness, surgery, or injury, the management of pain speeds the recovery process and it is imperative that it is managed properly.
This kind of pain occurs in pets as a result of an injury, surgery, infection, and inflammation. Acute pain is limiting to your pet’s mobility and makes your pet very uncomfortable. However, acute pain is typically temporary and abates as your pet heals. Frontier Village Veterinary Clinic makes pain management a priority in our surgical procedures to keep our patients comfortable and to enhance the speed at which they recover. Our veterinarians will carefully decide what your pet will need to manage his or her pain, which could include pre-operative injections to lessen the pain for 24 hours after the procedure and possibly a schedule of prescription medication to be taken at home.
By definition, chronic pain is a condition that last lasts longer than two weeks. It may initially stem from acute pain that go untreated or develop more slowly. Senior pets are often victims of chronic pain due to conditions like osteoarthritis, but all pets can be vulnerable as a result of dental disease and cancer, for example. The longer that chronic pain is left untreated, the more that its intensity will increase. For the sake of our pets, it is very important to bring them in as soon as they begin showing the clinic symptoms of pain.